A South Dakota Tribe has its marijuana growing operation up and running in preparation for a first-of-its-kind marijuana resort.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe is hoping to kick off the resort with a New Year’s Eve opening.
The grow op has 65 different strains growing, but the operation, while function, is still in its infancy. The tribe plans on selling about 80 pounds of pot per week at the resort, which is about one year in the making.
President Tony Reider says other tribes have been watching the operation closely. The resort will be open to adults 21 years and older, and the tribe, based on reactions on social media and elsewhere, expects large crowds. The facility, a former bowling alley on the Flandreau Sioux Reservation, 35 miles north of Sioux Falls, can welcome up to 1,000 people.
A video of the resort posted online got more than 6 million hits, says Reider, and a Seattle evening news show even reported on it.
“The reaction has been insane to say the least,” said tribal council treasurer Ryan Kills A Hundred. “We’ll take the free publicity.”
Not all the reactions have been positive. Flandreau police chief Anthony Schrad said that he and other city officials are “giving it a rest” as far as publicly commenting on the resort. They have made it clear in past statements that they are vehemently opposed to the tribe’s plans.
But the tribe is forging on ahead, despite statements from South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, who has reiterated that smoking marijuana remains illegal for non-Native Americans, even if they’re on tribal lands.
The tribe has emphasized that it will make marijuana available for medicinal use in a facility separated from the main lounge. The tribe’s lawyer, Seth Pearman, said that although the tribe will do everything it can to keep cannabis away from minors, medical marijuana will be available at the resort to underage persons who have a doctor’s order and parental consent. Such treatments would likely be available in oil form.
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